New Hope Club are back, and this time they're doing things on their own terms.
Since the success of their self-titled Top 5 album in 2020, Blake Richardson, Reece Bibby and George Smith have elevated their sound, finessed their song writing and found themselves recruiting a huge fanbase in Asia.
The group's rediscovered creative control is showcased with the first tracks released from their upcoming second project. Getting Better and Girl Who Does Both, released as a double A-side of sorts for the 2020s, are songs brimming with self-assurance and the confidence of musicians transitioned from teens to young men.
So, with such exciting times ahead for the lads, we caught up with Reece and George to find out just what the future holds.
Hey, New Hope Club. You're back! How does it feel?
Reece: It’s been a long time since we’re released something. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever. This feels like no other project we’ve ever worked on.
George: We’re a bit nervous, too. We can see people in Korea and Asia getting the music first and tweeting their reactions. We’ve had some great responses already, though, which is lovely. It’s nice to see they like it.
On that, you've recruited a huge fanbase in East Asia...
George: It’s crazy. It all happened over lockdown. We’ve always loved going over there as much as we can. It happened with [Danna Poala collaboration] Know Me Too Well. We’re so thankful for the support everyone’s shown us online while we haven’t been releasing music. It’s nice to see them discovering the older songs.
Reece: We’re going back there very soon, so we’ll get to see everybody properly, in person. We’ve got a few shows and are headlining a festival in Korea, we can’t wait to get back out there.
It’ll be the first time we’ve ever headlined a festival, which is so cool. Tom Misch is headlining the night before, and we’re huge fans of his.
Listen to New Hope Club's Getting Better and Girl Who Does Both below:
How does this project differ from your first record?
Reece: We were very young when we made the first album. That was a collection of songs over a five-year period, from us being 15 or 16. It got Top 5 in the UK, which was a huge achievement we were so proud of. But, as soon as we went to start touring the album, the world shut down. That gave us moment to think about how far we’ve come, the new album and some things we weren’t happy with.
We felt we weren’t as creative, involved or meticulous with the first album as we could’ve been. We’ve been given full creative control of this next album, which is amazing. We’ve written and produced the whole thing, in the UK and LA, and worked with Ross Golan. He’s one of the best songwriters around and has been our mentor throughout this whole project. We’ve grown closer than ever as friends and brothers, it’s been such an enlightening experience. Every inch of this project is us, completely. The artwork, the music, every line in every song.
That confidence really shows in the music...
Reece: Getting Better we wrote when we felt free of pressure, in the studio making music that we loved. You can hear it in the lyrics and the musicality.
George: The chains were off. That song came out of nowhere. With so much creative freedom, we wrote that song in half an hour. That song set the precedent for the whole album. It’s crazy how one song can change your mindset completely.
And, as if you weren't busy enough, Blake's just bagged a part in the upcoming Beatles biopic as Sir Paul McCartney...
Reece: It’s such an exciting time. We’re all literally the biggest Beatles fans ever. He did a tweet years ago saying something like ‘if anyone’s making a Paul McCartney biopic, let me know,’ and it just so happens he’s now got a part in it. It’s been a dream of his for a long time, nobody deserves it more. He works so hard and he’s going to smash it.
George: We’ve seen pictures of him in the costume and it’s uncanny. It’s crazy. It’s in production now and he’s completely re-learning bass left-handed; and you know how good Paul McCartney is at playing bass!
Getting Better and Girl Who Does Both are out now via Hollywood Records.
Article images: Clare Gillen.